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Spanos says Chargers to stay in San Diego in 2016

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Spanos says Chargers to stay in San Diego in 2016

SAN DIEGO (AP) -- Chargers Chairman Dean Spanos said Friday that the team will play in San Diego in 2016, and he'll work with politicians and the business community to try to resolve a long, bitter battle over a new stadium.

Spanos' statement was posted on the team website shortly after a report said the Chargers had reached a deal to join the Los Angeles Rams in a stadium expected to open in Inglewood in 2019.

"I am committed to looking at this with a fresh perspective and new sense of possibility," Spanos' statement said.

The development was a relief to fans who feared the Chargers would leave their home of 55 seasons and join the Rams in Los Angeles in the fall.

Spanos said he hoped the Chargers would remain in San Diego "for the long term in a new stadium."

He said he had met with Mayor Kevin Faulconer and County Supervisor Ron Roberts "and I look forward to working closely with them and the business community to resolve our stadium dilemma. We have an option and an agreement with the Los Angeles Rams to go to Inglewood in the next year, but my focus is on San Diego.

"This has been our home for 55 years, and I want to keep the team here and provide the world-class stadium experience you deserve," Spanos said. "Everyone on both sides of the table in San Diego must now determine the best next steps and how to deploy the additional resources provided by the NFL."

Spanos' announcement came just more than two weeks after NFL owners voted to approve Rams owner Stan Kroenke's plans to build a stadium in Inglewood near Los Angeles. A competing proposal by Spanos and Oakland Raiders owner Mark Davis to build a stadium in Carson was defeated.

While the owners gave Spanos the option to relocate to Los Angeles, the league said the Chargers and Raiders would each get an additional $100 million to try to get new stadium deals in their home markets. That money is in addition to a $200 million loan from the league available to each team.

"We are very supportive of the decision by Dean Spanos to continue his efforts in San Diego and work with local leaders to develop a permanent stadium solution," Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. "NFL ownership has committed $300 million to assist in the cost of building a new stadium in San Diego. I have pledged the league's full support in helping Dean to fulfill his goal."

Faulconer has held firm to his offer of $350 million in public money for a new stadium at the site of aging Qualcomm Stadium. He has also insisted that the measure be approved by voters.

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Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

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USA Today Sports

Fellow dance student of Ravens' Alex Collins fatally shot in Florida school shooting

On Wednesday, February 14, a horrific school shooting claimed the lives of 17 innocent people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. 

The tragic event impacted people far and wide, and hit especially close to home for Ravens running back Alex Collins.

The former Arkansas star was born in Plantation, Fla., a suburb of Fort Lauderdale and went to high school just 15 miles south of Douglas High School. 

In the offseason, Collins took Irish dancing lessons to improve his footwork, and following the act of terror, the Ravens' tailback learned that one of his dance partners had been killed in the mass shooting.

17-year-old Cara Loughran attended The Drake school of Irish Dance with Collins in addition to two other Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students and was fatally shot by the gunman on Wednesday afternoon. 

Collins took to his Twitter account to issue this heartfelt message.

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“The school shooting yesterday hit home,” Collins wrote.

“We received confirmation a few hours ago we lost one of the girls, Cara Loughran. Two other girls saw and experienced unspeakable tragedy. My heart goes out to these girls, all their families and their teacher Chrissy.”

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Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

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USA Today Sports

Baltimore Ravens to take on Chicago Bears in Hall of Fame game

BALTIMORE -- The Baltimore Ravens and Chicago Bears will launch the NFL's 99th season by playing in the annual Hall of Fame game on Aug. 2.

The Ravens' first appearance in the Hall of Fame game, which launches the league's 2018 Enshrinement Week. Former Baltimore linebacker Ray Lewis is among the inductees, along with former Bears linebacker Brian Urlacher.

Lewis, who played 17 seasons with the Ravens, and Urlacher, who played all of his 13 seasons with Chicago, both were elected on the first ballot.

Lewis joins Jonathan Ogden as the only Ravens in the Hall of Fame. Both were selected by Baltimore in the first round of the 1996 draft.

The other members of the Class of 2018 include Bobby Beathard, Robert Brazile, Brian Dawkins, Jerry Kramer, Randy Moss and Terrell Owens. All will be inducted on Saturday, Aug. 4.

This will be the record-tying fifth time that the Bears will play in the Hall of Fame game. They won the previous four, most recently 27-24 over Miami in 2005.

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